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Svindal becomes the oldest man to win downhill title

UK & international sports | Published:

The Norwegian won his first Olympic downhill gold at the age of 35.

Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal (centre) won the men’s downhill (Petrick Semansky/AP)

Aksel Lund Svindal wrote his name in Winter Olympic history by becoming the oldest man to win the prestigious men’s downhill title on a Norwegian-dominated day at the Jeongseong Alpine Centre.

The 35-year-old Svindal led home his compatriot Kjetil Jansrud by 0.12 seconds while the pre-race favourite, double and reigning world champion Beat Feuz, had to settle for bronze.

Svindal already had one Olympic medal of each colour, all from the 2010 Vancouver Games, but it was feared his hopes of landing the Games’ blue riband title had gone after he finished fourth in Sochi.

Aksel Svindal
Aksel Svindal became the oldest Olympic men’s downhill champion (Christophe Ena/AP)

Mikaela Shiffrin overturned a first-run deficit to win what she hopes will be the first of a number of gold medals in the delayed women’s giant slalom.

The 22-year-old trailed Manuela Moelgg of Italy by 0.20 seconds after the first run, but powered to overall victory in a total time of two minutes 20.02 seconds.

Mikaela Shiffrin
Mikaela Shiffrin claimed women’s giant-slalom gold (Patrick Semansky/AP)

Referring to her second run, Shiffrin said: “There were moments when I thought, ‘I don’t know if I’m good enough to do this’, and then there were moments when I thought, ‘who cares? You gotta try. You’re here’.”

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Great Britain’s Dominic Parsons will head into Friday’s culmination of the men’s skeleton competition in fourth place just three hundredths of a second off the medal placings.

Parsons continued his superb training form to place behind South Korean World Cup winner Sungbin Yun, Russian Nikita Tregubov and Latvia’s Martins Dukurs, while team-mate Jerry Rice sits in 12th.

Parsons said of his medal prospects: “It’s what I’ve been working on for the last four years. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves too much – I’ll just focus on the next two runs first.”

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Norway’s Marit Bjoergen moved within one more medal of equalling Ole Einar Bjoerndalen’s Olympic record of 13 as she took bronze in the women’s 10km cross-country.

Marit Bjoergen
Norway’s Marit Bjoergen claimed her 12th Winter Olympic medal (Matthias Schrader/AP)

Pierre Vaultier retained his Olympic men’s snowboard-cross title after winning a chaotic final in which three of the six-man field fell. Jarryd Hughes and Rogino Hernandez stayed on their feet to claim silver and bronze respectively.

Britain’s Annika Taylor came 75th in the women’s 15km cross-country, while Amanda Lightfoot was 73rd in the women’s 15km individual biathlon.

Great Britain’s women’s curling team bounced back from an earlier disappointment to edge past China in the evening session.

Skip Eve Muirhead admitted mistakes had cost her side dear in a 7-4 loss to the US, but she held her nerve to return with an 8-7 victory in an extra end.

In the afternoon session, Kyle Smith’s GB men’s team beat Japan 6-5 to also move to two wins and one loss from their first three games.

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